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Twins decline $12.5 million option on closer Joe Nathan

Oct 25, 2011, 3:34 PM EDT

Joe Nathan

UPDATE: It’s official, as the Twins announced that they’ve declined Nathan’s option and hope to re-sign him at a lesser salary.

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No surprise, but Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that “all signs point to the Twins declining Joe Nathan‘s $12.5 million option for 2012.”

Nathan missed all of 2010 following Tommy John elbow surgery and struggled upon returning this year, but pitched very well down the stretch after a stint on the disabled list.

However, the decision between a $12.5 million option or $2 million buyout is a no-brainer for the Twins even if they’re interested in having Nathan back in 2012.

He threw 29 innings with a 3.38 ERA and 28/5 K/BB ratio from late June through the end of the season, but Nathan’s velocity was below his pre-surgery levels and he’s a 37-year-old entering a market saturated with veteran closers.

  1. humanexcrement - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    I hear the Washington Nationals calling…

    • pkers - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      Then they’ll have another closer that they can then trade to the Twins for prospects. Genius!

  2. presidentmiraflores - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Cashman will take him at $12 mil to pitch the 7th.

  3. azvikefan - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    He missed all of 2010, not 2011. He looked good late in the season after the Twins were out of it and I would really hate to see him go.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 25, 2011 at 4:41 PM

      If his velocity was OK late in the season, the Jays will take a close look at him.

  4. luckywi - Oct 25, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    But really, the big question is, what the Twins are going to do with the “Ace” Francisco Liriano?

  5. Cris E - Oct 26, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    They’ll re-sign him.

    Nathan will happily trade a 1 yr deal for $12m for a 2 yr at $18m or something. He likes MN and he seems pretty aware he’s a different guy from three or five years ago. MN is a pretty easy place to place to play, and that can be a big deal if you’re an expensive elder playing out the string.

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